The Complete Poems of Michelangelo by P-UofChicagoPress


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									The Complete Poems of Michelangelo
Author: Michelangelo
Translator: John Frederick Nims
Table of Contents

Preface I. The Long Beginning (1475-1532)1. A man who's happy many a year, one hour2. Brow burning,
in cool gloom, as sundown shears3. I was happy, with fate favoring, to abide4. How joyfully it shows, the
garland there5. A goiter it seems I got from this backward craning6. If any of those old proverbs, lord,
make sense7. Who's this that draws me forcibly to you?8. O God, O God, O God, how can I be9. He
Who made all there is, made every part10. Chalices hammered into sword and helmet! 11. How much
less torment to breathe out my soul 12. How could I, since it's so 13. Fame keeps the epitaphs where
they lie 14. The Day and the Night speak 15. Seeing I'm yours, I rouse me from afar 16. From one all
loveliness and all allure 17. Rancorous heart, cruel, pitiless, through showing 18. Though shouldered from
the road I chose When young 19. Fine lass or lady, they 20. Sweeter your face than grapes are, stewed
to mush 21. Once born, death's our destination 22. What's to become of me? What's this you're doing
23. I was, for years and years now, wounded, killed 24. I made my eyes an entryway for poison 25. When
with a clanking chain a master locks 26. Uproot a plant, there's no way it can seal 27. Flee from this
Love, you lovers; flee the flame! 28. Because there's never a time I'm not enchanted 29. All rage, all
misery, all show of strength 30. From eyes of my beloved one, come burning 31. Love in your eyes? no;
life and death are there 32. I live for sinning, for the self that dies 33. Were it true that, besides my own,
another's arms 34. Where my love lives is nowhere in my heart 35. The eyelid, shadowing, doesn't
interfere 36. My lover stole my heart, just over there 37. In me there's only death; my life's in you 38. He
who beguiles both time and death together 39. For a would from the searing arrows Love lets fly 40.
WHen blithely Love would lift me up to heaven 41. O noble soul, in whom, as mirrored, show 42. Pray tell
me, Love, if what my eyes can see 43. My reason, out of sorts with me, deplores 44. When to that
beauty that I saw before 45. It well may be, so vehement my sighing 46. If my rough hammer shapes the
obdurate stone 47. When the occasioner of many a sigh 48. Just as a flame, by wind and weather flailed
49. Your beauty, Love, stuns mortal reckonings 50. What's to become of her, long years from now 51.
Alas! Alas! for the way I've been betrayed 52. Were one allowed to kill himself right here 53. Who rides by
night on horseback, come the day 54. I do believe, if you were made of stone 55. Though quite expensive,
look, I've bought you this 56. My death is what I love on; seems to me 57. If I'm more alive because love
burns and chars me II. Three Loves (1532-1547) 58. If longings for the immortal, which exalt 59. If pure
devotion, passion without stain 60. You know, my lord, that I too know you know 61. If, when it caught
my eye first, I'd been bolder 62. Only with fire can men at forge and flue 63. So fond is fire of the frigid
stone it waits 64. If fire can melt down steel and shatter flint 65. Just when I'm lost in adoration of you 66.
Maybe, so I'd look kindly on...

There is no artist more celebrated than Michelangelo. Yet the magnificence of his achievements as a
visual artist often overshadow his devotion to poetry. Michelangelo used poetry to express what was too
personal to display in sculpture or painting. John Frederick Nims has brought the entire body of
Michelangelo's verse, from the artist's ardent twenties to his anguished and turbulent eighties, to life in
English in this unprecedented collection. The result is a tantalizing glimpse into a most fascinating mind.

"Wonderful. . . . Nims gives us Michelangelo whole: the polymorphous love sonneteer, the political
allegorist, and the solitary singer of madrigals."

"A splendid, fresh and eloquent translation. . . . Nims, an eminent poet and among the best translators of
our time, conveys the full meaning and message of Michelangelo's love sonnets and religious poems in
fluently rhymed, metrical forms."

"The best so far. . . . Nims is best at capturing the sound and sense of Michelangelo's poetic

"Surely the most compelling translations of Michelangelo currently available in English."

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